ONE Championship: Sage Northcutt to Make Return Against Shinya Aoki on April 28

Sage Northcutt ONE Championship
Sage Northcutt Credit: ONE Championship

Sage Northcutt will be fighting again for the first time in nearly two years when he takes on Japanese MMA star Shinya Aoki on April 28.

“Super Sage” is finally fighting again.  Two years after suffering facial fractures in his ONE Championship debut, Sage Northcutt will be returning to the ring to face Japanese MMA legend Shinya Aoki at a ONE event on April 28.  The news was broken by Northcutt in an interview with ESPN on Wednesday morning.

The 24 year old Sage Northcutt (11-3) first rose to prominence when he signed with the UFC as the first fighter discovered on Dana White’s Lookin’ for a Fight in 2015 at 19 years old.  At the time, he was the youngest fighter ever to be signed with the promotion. During his four year UFC run, Northcutt accumulated a 6-2 record before leaving the company in free agency.  In 2019, he signed with ONE and made his debut against veteran kickboxer Cosmo Alexandre.  Northcutt lost the fight by first round knockout, suffering facial fractures that required surgery and have kept him sidelined since the fight.

MMA veteran Shinya Aoki (46-9, 1NC) is looking to continue his road back to the ONE championship title as he pursues his fourth victory in a row.  Aoki has fought for ONE since 2012 and has enjoyed a nearly 20 year professional career fighting in several major Asian promotions including PRIDE, DREAM, RIZIN, DEEP, and now ONE.  Notably, the ONE lightweight limit is 170 pounds as opposed to 155 pounds that is traditionally seen in most promotions and Aoki has even gone up to 185 pounds to challenge for titles in ONE.

The fight will be part of an event also featuring the recently announced women’s atomweight Grand Prix to determine a challenger for Angela Lee who is currently taking a hiatus from competition.  The event is also expected to air on prime time in the United States on TNT.